To keep with the Vegas theme this week, I wanted to share a secret I learned while booking hotels in Vegas. Once a travel location has been selected, I scour Expedia, Hotwire, Hotel Websites, Hotels.com, etc. for the best hotels with the best price. For Vegas, I also decided to check out Bookit.com. It is a lesser known site but occasionally offers some great deals ( this is the site we used to book our Honeymoon — but I do feel like they specialize more in island type destinations). As I was going through the endless pages of listings, most hotel prices seemed to match Expedia and Hotels.com but then something interesting came up!
A listing read, “5-Star Mystery All-Suite Hotel + Spa“. Oh the secrecy! What could this be? Not to mention the price was far lower than the other 5 star hotels I looked at. I did a quick search and found out most of the time this listing was for either the Trump Hotel or Wynn + Encore. However, this specific listing mentioned the hotel was located a couple blocks off of the strip so I just knew it had to be the Trump (or at least I needed it to be the Trump ha). But what if it wasn’t? What if it was miles off of the strip in nomad Nevada? But, Vegas is all about taking risks so why not? “It will be a great story no matter the outcome, ” I told myself and my sleeping husband ( I tend to analyze decisions far too long). I received an email from Bookit.com shortly after booking, stating the mystery hotel is indeed the TRUMP HOTEL. I was very excited but didn’t realize how much I lucked out till we checked in.
The Trump is so swanky and luxurious from the moment you step out of your car and the valet is complimentary. We checked in late Friday night and were upgraded to the 55th floor pent house suite (literally bigger than our apartment). I could have spent weeks there. Vegas was pretty crowded the week we went because of the weather and I guess there was a fight on Saturday, which makes me feel like we scored even more. Hotels were through the roof and we stayed in a Penthouse suite for $130/night (not including resort fees). So go on live a little and take a risk with the mystery hotel!
One of my favorite places to research when planning a getaway is New York Times’ 36 Hours. I swear they have done almost every city and some even multiple times! NYT 36 Hours is the perfect blend of touristy and local hotspots. One of my dream jobs would be to travel the world and write about the best restaurants, entertainment and hotels. How enjoyable would that be??
On my recent journey to Las Vegas, I decided I would plan as though it were a 36 hour NYT excursion. So here it is folks, Vivre Blog’s 36 Hour Guide to LAS VEGAS!
7:30pm 1) Burger Bar (Mandalay Bay): I am always starving after flying (no matter how short/long it is). Burger Bar is the perfect place to recharge your body before the sleepless Vegas night. Their gourmet burgers are amazing (even my husband couldn’t stop raving and he is a self-proclaimed burger connoisseur)! You literally can’t go wrong with any type of burger you choose. I ended up choosing the kobe beef hamburger and my mouth couldn’t stop watering. I am not even a lover of hamburgers (I do love in-n-out but don’t really order from anywhere else). One thing I am a lover of is shakes and Burger Bar’s Black and White shake is one of my all time favorites (vanilla ice cream based shake with cookie dough and chocolate syrup and topped with bittersweet chocolate infused whipped cream)!!
9pm 2) Britney Spears (Planet Hollywood) – Now this recommendation may be a little controversial but I decided to take the plunge and see my girl Britney in concert (haven’t seen her since the Oops I Did It Again tour). I may be a little bias but, let me tell you she worked it for a hour and a half. There were costume changes, back up dancers, Britney flying through the air, crazy sets with fire and water, etc. It was incredible!! I was dancing and singing the whole time along with all the other attendees (husband was even enjoying himself). It was the fastest 90 minutes of my life. Tickets are a little on the pricey side because it is still the beginning of her contract and she is Britney Spears (duh)! Wish I had moves like Britney…
11pm 3) Serendipity (Cesar’s Palace) – Although it is always incredibly crowded, Serendipity is worth the wait. I opt for the peanut butter chocolate or classic frozen hot chocolate but, none of the desserts disappoint. It is the sweetest ending to a night on the strip (see what I did there ha). I would steer clear of the savory food though–very below average if you ask me.
10am 4) Bouchon Bistro (Venetian) – Brunch at Bouchon is incredible. I highly recommend the sourdough waffles, bread pudding style French toast and all pastries. The charming French bistro atmosphere makes you feel right at home. Don’t forget to stop by the bakery and order salted peanut butter cups for the road! I think I may or may not be addicted to sugar…
11:30am 5) Mob Museum(downtown) – Who knew Vegas had so much history? This interactive museum is three stories and includes a tour through the actual court room where Las Vegas officials conducted 14 nation wide hearings regarding organized crimes. It was interesting to know more about the Mob’s biggest players – including Al Capone, Whitey Bulger, and many more! Please note: Tickets can be bought as a package deal with the neon museum for $30/person. I suggest allotting about 2 hours for this museum because it is large and has so much information.
2pm 6) Honey Salt(outside the strip) – If I lived in Vegas this would be my go to lunch spot. The farm to table menu + the vintage chic decor + great service + lustful desserts is everything I ever want in a lunch spot.
Don’t forget to leave room for the brookie with salted caramel ice cream!
4pm 7) Neon Museum(downtown) – The self proclaimed “boneyard” takes you back in time and gives you better insight as to how Las Vegas became the entertainment capital of the country. Museum offers a guided hour long tour for $18/person (or $30/person when purchasing the mob museum as well). We decided to tour during the day because it worked better with our schedule but I hear the night tours are great because some of the signs actually light up!
7:30pm 8) Mix (Mandalay Bay) – To get to the restaurant you must enter a separate all glass elevator that shoots you up to the 64th floor (my stomach dropped a little). The view + decor + food + service was spectacular. I ordered the lamb while my husband ordered the sea bass. Both entrees were exquisite. The dessert menu looked divine but I was already quite full. This restaurant also turns into a lounge/club after hours.
On Day 3, we decided to order room service, shop at fashion place mall and lounge by the pool. We decided to stay at the Trump this time around and it was perfect. I also enjoy staying at the Wynn + Encore for their high quality restaurants, pools rooms & night clubs!